Pool Party HD clip

click to see a 1920×1080 still from the HD clip

Jeff K brough along his brand-spanking new Sony HD camcorder to the pool party.
I used iMovie HD to produce
this 1’41” clip of 1080i HD video.
It’s 100 MB, and is encoded in H.264 at 8,233 kbits/sec.

I gotta say, that is one sweet camera.
I managed to impress Jeff a little I think when I connected the camera to my Mac and proceeded to edit video.
He was a bit less impressed when iMovie took over an hour to compress the video to mp4.
As it turned out, however, I was compressing it way, way down to something like 240 pixels wide!
Later, when I kept it full-sized it was a bit faster.
But still, encoding 1080i is not the fastest task, even on my G5.

I did notice a few interlace artifacts when playing the clip back on my computer.
You can see it in the full-sized version of the still above if you look at my pointing finger.
I guess H.264 doesn’t de-interlace on its own or anything?

LG LDA-530 DVD/DivX player

I recently bought a new DVD player, which is usually no big deal these days.
They’re pretty cheap and pretty much interchangeable.
Well, except for those recent players I took back that couldn’t play my Pan&Scan Spider-Man 1 DVD.

I bought myself an
LG LDA-530,
which has the interesting feature of being able to play DivX AVI files burned to data CDs or DVDs.
I got it for $99 at Future Shop.

At first I had heard about cheap ($80-$100) DVD players that could play AVI’s being on sale at Best Buy.
But they only had Philips and JVC models.
This was disconcerting, since when I checked up on those models on
there was a definite feeling that the LG model was superior to the other two models.
Thus I searched and found it at Future Shop.

I have to say, I am very impressed with this thing.
All those DVDs of TV shows are now suddenly playable in my living room!
Ya, okay, I really hsould have the Media Box in there, but this is an inexpensive, excellent stand-in.
My friend Scott was so impressed, he went home and bought two units for his house.
He ICQ’ed me to let me know he is really happy with them.

What can I say?
“Highly recommended”.

Oh, btw, there is an
model coming out very soon that does HD-DivX, which I’ve never heard of.
No idea how good it is, but hey, it should let you break the 640×480 barrier.
Maybe I could play all those 100MB 1080[i/p?] trailers I have downloaded..

Asteroid Close Approach in 2029

In Asteroid Headed our way they say that if the most probably trajectory is followed, its orbit will be altered for impact in 2036. This is all well and good except as with all of these models, they don’t tell you about all of the previously innaccurate measurements they had which suggested nothing of the sort. This just happens to be the current set of “best-to-date” innaccurate measurements which are newsworthy. Makes for lively debate, I guess… and they say as much.

Earth and Moon showing min/avg/max distance, to scale